If you’re anything like the recruiters I’ve spoken with, it’s a fair assumption that you and your hiring managers don’t always see eye to eye.
Okay maybe not every hiring manager—I’m sure there are ones you’re in sync with like too-good-to-be-true-sitcom-friendships—but whether you work with one, five or 50, there are moments you’re both frustrated.
That’s because the partnership is often a strange and cruel paradox. Maintaining a strong relationship with hiring managers is the most influential factor in talent acquisition performance, but these relationships are also a top culprit of stress for recruiting professionals.
It doesn’t have to be this way. The two of you can work in harmony.
Before we dig into the hiring manager experience any further, let’s meditate on three pillars of the recruiter-hiring manager relationship:
As a recruiter, you are in the customer service industry. Think of hiring managers like customers for your business.
Both you and the hiring managers share the same goal: fill open positions with talented candidates.
Hiring managers spend their days on much more than acquiring talent. That makes you the talent acquisition expert.
With these in mind, here are five ways you can immediately improve your hiring manager experience.
1. You have to trust each other
Trust is a two-way street, but the responsibility ultimately begins with recruiters earning the hiring manager’s—aka customer’s—trust. Just like a company works hard to earn the trust of a customer to buy its product, recruiters have to work hard to earn the respect of each hiring manager he or she works with.
Trust starts with transparency. Talk with your hiring managers early in your professional relationship so you both understand each other’s daily routines and expectations.
A great way to do this is by walking them through every step of your recruiting process and how you plan on finding the best candidate for the open position. Not only will this build trust, but it will also help you both understand each other’s career and process a little more.
2. Discuss the job posting requirements in detail
One of the best ways you can be on the same page as your hiring manager before sourcing a single candidate is with an initial meeting to discuss two critical points:
Every detail of the job description.
Who the hiring manager envisions as the ideal candidate.
Don’t just go off the written job description. Anyone can read this and find someone they think would be a great hire. Ask for 20-30 minutes of the hiring manager’s time to meet and talk about the requirements in detail. Which requirements are deal breakers and which aren’t? Who do they envision as the candidate they want to hire?
When you’re both on the same page after an open and honest conversation, the disagreements and frustrations dissipate, leaving you both with a symbiotic relationship.
3. Take charge of your hiring manager’s expectations
This is where your expertise in talent acquisition pays off. Oftentimes, hiring managers are simply unaware of the talent market and expect to fill a job opening in a matter of days like it’s 2009.
This naiveté to the hiring process and job market can cost a company a great hire. As a recruiter, this means talking with your hiring manager about interview techniques, making a great first impression when meeting the candidate, and determining how he or she can sell the job to the candidate using the company’s brand and story.
If a candidate is going to leave his or her current company (and a significant number of recruits are typically employed elsewhere) he or she needs tangible reasons to change companies like salary, company culture, etc.
4. Communicate with your hiring managers every step of the way
Just like the style rule that it’s better to be overdressed than underdressed, it’s much better to overcommunicate with your hiring mangers than leave them in the dark. Hiring managers want to know the status of each job opening so take a few minutes out of your day and send them a quick email or pick up the phone and call them.
And when you do contact them, give them quantifiable checkpoints you’ve completed in your quest for an ideal candidate. Tell them how many meetings you’ve had, how many candidates you’ve found and how many resumes you’ll be sending over for approval before scheduling interviews.
5. Know when to cut your losses
Although you can do all of the above and even more to establish trust and improve the hiring manager experience, there has to be reciprocation. If the two of you cannot establish a healthy partnership, you may have to make a hard decision and move on to other companies.
This may be difficult when trying to establish your client database as a new recruiter, but your time and effort are better spent with other clients or pursuing new business.
What about you recruiters out there? Do you have any other ways you can improve the hiring manager experience? Zoho Recruit would love to hear your story or your tips to help recruiters interact with their hiring managers in the future.